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Footfall down 2.9% in November as consumers shop for Christmas later this year

Retail footfall in November was 2.9% lower than the same month last year and remained unchanged from October's rate, according to figures released by the British Retail Consortium and Springboard in their footfall monitor.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Footfall down 2.9% in November as consumers shop for Christmas later this year

High streets reported the biggest fall, down 4.2%, and on a three-month basis reported their worst drop in footfall since August 2012. Footfall in out-of-town locations fell by 2.1% while shopping centres experienced a 1% drop. In addition, all regions reported a decline in footfall with the East, North & Yorkshire and Greater London the only regions to report footfall above the UK average.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: "This figure is in line with October, and tallies with recent signs in our sales data that festive spending has got off to a slow but steady start. While some areas saw an improvement in footfall compared against the previous month, numbers were negative across the board, strengthening the sense that many of us were holding off on major shopping trips until December ushered in the final countdown to Christmas.

"Shopping centres performed the strongest of the three channels, suggesting that many people opted to condense their trips where possible so that they could cover off their Christmas lists under one roof. High streets fared less well, but were up against a comparatively strong rate in 2012."

Dickinson explained that factors such improved multi-channel offers and Christmas day falling on Wednesday this year had changed customer habits and were giving people the confidence to leave much of their spending until later. She added: “Clearly there's still all to play for: footfall has been building since the end of November and I expect this to continue now that we're less than a fortnight away from the big day."

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